Waze, the traffic-mapping app that Google acquired in 2013 for upwards of $1 billion, launched its first spin-off app on Monday. The new app, RideWith, sees Waze and Google entering the carpooling business.
The app is now live in the Google Play store for Android devices, but it currently only works in Waze's home country of Israel (and you'll need to turn Google Translate on if you visit the official site and don't read Hebrew). An announcement at Waze's official blog described the app as a "carpool pilot," and it clarified that hopeful passengers will need to download and load the new app while drivers could opt into the program directly through the Waze app. With the RideWith app, riders can enter their commute info, then wait for an alert when a route-friendly driver has been found. Users can suss out drivers by way of profiles, prior riders' reviews, and even through a chat option.
The announcement explained that the app creates a price quote, based on distance and wear-and-tear values, when someone seeks a ride (which they can edit with their own "maximum" value). Potential drivers can then decide whether or not they want to accept that payment and take the passenger in question. The app handles payment with an apparent "nominal Waze commission" added to the price. The announcement didn't clarify an amount, and a Google spokesperson declined to answer our question about the exact figure.